Pitzer Spotlights

2007-2008 Spotlight Archives

Mathematics Professor Stacy Brown Awarded California Postsecondary Education Commission Grant

Visiting Professor of Mathematics Stacy Brown, who is teaching a course in mathematics for teachers at Pitzer, has been awarded a $930,000 grant from the California Postsecondary Education Commission. The grant is part of the Commission's Improving Teacher Quality program. Brown is the Research Director for the grant, and under its terms Pitzer is partnering with Claremont Graduate University's school of teacher education and with the Pomona Unified School District.

The project that was funded is called MAAP, or the "Making Algebra Accessible Project." The project will provide three years of professional development to all grades K-6 teachers at two Pomona elementary schools. MAAP will be documenting its work with the teachers and studying the relationship between professional development, classroom practices, student achievement, and teachers' mathematical content knowledge.

"Early algebraic reasoning has a very specific definition in my field. We are not pushing algebra, as a school topic, into the elementary classrooms," Brown says.

"The algebra requirements in our schools disproportionately affect low-income students of color. I believe these children are one of our greatest wasted natural resources. I also think that as a state and as a country we do not provide our teachers with the opportunities to learn that they need. I am so excited to have funding to do some of that work that will help."